Journal Article

A Study in a Community in Brazil in Which Cutaneous Larva Migrans Is Endemic

Hermann Feldmeier, Anne Jackson, Jörg Heukelbach, Cláudia Maria Lins Calheiros, Valquíria de Lima Soares and Gundel Harms

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 43, issue 2, pages e13-e18
Published in print July 2006 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online July 2006 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/505221
A Study in a Community in Brazil in Which Cutaneous Larva Migrans Is Endemic

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Background. Cutaneous larva migrans (CLM) is a common but neglected parasitic skin disease in impoverished communities of the developing world.

Methods. To describe the clinical features and the morbidity associated with CLM, active-case finding was performed during rainy and dry seasons in a rural community in the state of Alagoas, Northeast Brazil.

Results. A total of 62 individuals received a diagnosis for CLM, and among them there were a total of 75 larval tracks. The number of tracks per person ranged from 1 to 3. Children <9 years old were affected significantly more often than other age groups (P < .001). Children had their lesions mainly on the buttocks, genitals, and hands, whereas in older patients, the majority of lesions were located on the feet. Twenty-four percent of the 75 lesions were superinfected. Bacterial superinfection was more common among children. All but 1 patient complained about itching, and 84% of the 62 patients complained about sleep disturbances. Itching was classified as being severe by 61% of patients. Approximately 40% of the 62 patients had attempted to treat their creeping eruption previously. Larvae moved forward 2.7 mm per day. There was a significant correlation between the length of the track and the duration of infestation (ρ = .53; P < .0001).

Conclusions. CLM is a common parasitic skin disease in this rural community, with different topographic patterns of lesions in children and adults. CLM is associated with considerable morbidity. The length of the track can be used to estimate the duration of infestation.

Journal Article.  4014 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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